Schedule a training visit to the prestigious Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, MD by clicking on the banner above

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Stearns, Michelsen and Ponwith Claim Pro Circuit Titles; Ceban and Pushkareva Win Les Petits As Championships; Horovitz Falls to Streaking Boogaard in Costa Rica Final; D-I Women's Team Indoor Field Includes Several Surprises

Americans won singles championships at all three of this week's USTA Pro Circuit events, which isn't surprising, given that five of the six finalists were from the United States.

2022 NCAA champion Peyton Stearns, the No. 6 seed, defeated No. 8 seed Robin Montgomery 6-2, 6-0 in just 51 minutes at the $25,000 tournament at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona Florida. The former Texas Longhorn, who didn't drop a set all week, has lost only two matches this year, both to Emma Navarro, Virginia's 2021 NCAA champion. Now 11-2 this year, Stearns has her fourth $25K title, and will be well inside the WTA Top 200 for the first time in her career, in just eight months as a pro.

At the men's $25,000 tournament in Wesley Chapel Florida, former Arizona State star Nathan Ponwith won the second singles title of his career and the first since 2019 with a 6-3, 6-2 decision over No. 8 seed Christian Langmo(Miami). The unseeded 24-year-old lost his opening set to 16-year-old wild card Abishek Thorat 6-1, but really found his stride in the last two matches, beating No. 3 seed Zachary Svajda 6-2, 6-3 in 65 minutes in the semifinals and needing only 71 minutes to claim the title today.

Eighteen-year-old Alex Michelsen also won his second Pro Circuit singles title today, but unlike Ponwith, it's been only two months since his first one, at a $15K tournament in East Lansing Michigan. Michelsen, the No. 4 seed, defeated unseeded Lucas Renard of Sweden 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 6-1 to earn the title at the $15,000 tournament in Edmond Oklahoma. The first two sets took nearly two hours to complete, but the University of Georgia recruit blitzed through the third set in just 24 minutes. Michelsen, who received a main draw wild card into next week's Cleveland Challenger, will move into the ATP Top 500 for the first time when these points are added.

Former North Carolina teammates Mac Kiger and Canada's Benjamin Sigouin won the doubles title in Edmond, with the top seeds defeating the unseeded team of Collin Altamirano(Virginia) and Adrian Boitan(Baylor) 7-6(7), 6-4 in Saturday evening's final.

Anna Pushkareva of Russia and Mark Ceban of Great Britain won the Les Petits As U14 championships today in Tarbes France. 

Pushkareva, the No. 5 seed, defeated No. 2 seed Giulia Popa of Romania 6-3, 6-4, becoming the tenth Russian girls champion at the event, which began in 1983.

The third-seeded Ceban, a 6-3, 6-2 winner over No. 6 seed Daniel Jade of Lebanon, is just the second British boys to claim the title. Ceban, who also won the Bolton tournament last week, is the first boys champion from Great Britain since Matthew Smith in 1998.

Last year's Les Petits As boys champion Thijs Boogaard has gone on an astounding run on the ITF Junior Circuit, with the 14-year-old from the Netherlands winning his sixth consecutive title last night at the J300 Copa del Cafe in Costa Rica. Wild card Boogaard, who won a J200 two weeks ago in Europe, defeated No. 5 seed Roy Horovitz of the United States 6-4, 6-4 to extend his winning streak on the ITF Junior Circuit to 30 matches. 

I don't remember anyone going on a run like that, starting at the lowest levels of the ITF Junior Circuit and winning title after title despite stepping up to a higher level each time (he did win two J4s, now known as J60s, during that stretch). Boogaard will move into the Top 50 now, and is likely to receive direct entry into all the junior slams this summer.  He received a special exemption into the main draw at the J300 this coming week in Ecuador

All but three of the participants in the ITA Division I Team Indoor Championships have been determined after a busy Sunday of action across the country. 

Four No. 1 women's seeds hosting regionals were eliminated, with Miami, Oklahoma State and North Carolina State joining Cal, who lost in the first round yesterday, on the sidelines.

Miami and NC State both lost tough 4-3 decisions to Iowa State and Vanderbilt respectively; Michigan defeated Oklahoma State 4-2.

The weather finally cleared in College Station long enough for the first round matches to be played this evening, and host Texas A&M and No. 2 seed Florida will play Monday for the final spot in the women's Team Indoor field.

The men have yet to lose a No. 1 seed (Georgia and Stanford are the last chances for that), and today's finals were all 4-0 decisions for the hosts, except North Carolina, who dropped one point to Harvard.

SLAM Tennis has all the results and links to box scores, and Cracked Racquets will have coverage of Monday's final day of 
action on their YouTube channel.

Finals Sunday:
Virginia[1] d. Princeton[3] 4-0
North Carolina[1] d. Harvard[2] 4-1
Ohio State[1] d. Oregon[3] 4-0
Michigan[1] d. Northwestern[2] 4-0
Texas[1] d. Arizona[2] 4-0
South Carolina[1] d. NC State[2] 4-0
Southern California[1] d. UCLA[3] 4-0
TCU[1] d. Texas Tech[3] 4-0

Finals Monday:
Georgia[1] v Louisville[2]
Stanford[1] v Texas A&M[3]

Finals Saturday:
Tennessee[1] d. Oklahoma[2] 4-3
Florida[1] d. Mississippi State[3] 4-2
Wake Forest[1] d. Middle Tennessee[2] 4-2
Kentucky[1] d. Notre Dame[2] 4-1
Baylor[1] d. Florida State[3] 4-2

Finals Sunday:
Duke[1] d. Wisconsin[3] 4-1
Vanderbilt[2] d. NC State[1] 4-3
Iowa State[3] d. Miami[1] 4-3
Michigan[2] d. Oklahoma State[1] 4-2
Oklahoma[1] d. Texas Tech[2] 4-0
Pepperdine[1] d. Memphis[2] 4-0
Auburn[1] d. Central Florida[3] 4-1

Final Monday:
Texas A&M[1] v Florida[2]

Finals Saturday:
Texas[1] d. Baylor[2] 4-0
Virginia[1] d, South Carolina[2] 4-1
Georgia[1] d. Notre Dame[3] 4-1
Stanford[1] d. Florida State[2] 4-0
North Carolina[1] d. Charlotte[3] 4-0
San Diego[3] d. Cal[1] 4-1 
Ohio State[1] d. Tennessee[3] 4-2